Effects of irrigation regime and salinity on soil characteristics and yield of tomato

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Rita Leogrande *
Ornella Lopedota
Francesco Montemurro
Carolina Vitti
Domenico Ventrella
(*) Corresponding Author:
Rita Leogrande | rita.leogrande@entecra.it

Abstract

A field experiment was conducted in Mediterranean conditions to evaluate the effects of different irrigation volumes and water quality on yield performance of tomato crop. The tomato crop was irrigated re-establishing 50 (I1), 75 (I2) and 100% (I3) of the crop evapotranspiration (ETc) with two water quality: fresh water with EC 0.9 dS m-1 (FW) and saline water with EC 6 dSm-1 (SW). At harvest, total and marketable yield, weight, number, , total soluble solids (TSS) and dry matter of fruit were calculated, The results showed no statistical differences among the three different irrigation volumes on tomato yield and quality. The salinity treatment did not affect yield, probably because the soil salinity in the root zone on average remained below the threshold of tomato salt tolerance. Instead, salinity improved fruit quality parameters as dry matter and TSS by 13 and 8 %, respectively. After the first field application of saline water, soil saturated extract cations (SSEC), electrical conductivity of soil paste extract (ECe), sodium absorption ratio (SAR) and exchangeable sodium percentage (ESP) cations increased; the largest increase of cations, in particular of Na, occurred in the top layer. At the end of the experiment, the absolute value of SSEC, ECe and SAR, for all the effects studied, were lower than those recorded in 2007. This behavior was suitable to the reduced volumes of treatments administered in 2009 in respect to the 2007. Furthermore, the higher total rainfall recorded in 2009 increased the leaching and downward movement of salts out of the sampling depth.

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Author Biography

Rita Leogrande, Consiglio per la Ricerca e la sperimentazione in Agricoltura

Unità di ricerca per studio dei sistemi colturali